One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

A Thoughtful Thursday

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I’ve been a bit absent this week. Have you noticed? Sure I posted but I haven’t been in the mood to really write. I’ve been contemplating a few things and I think it’s time to share. Sorry to hijack my traditional Thursday Thoughts Post. :)

Over the last few weeks, since about Easter I’ve felt a little bit out of control. I hinted at this in my post about the trainer and even my recent podcast. Have you heard the phrase "Fat is not a feeling?" I believe it was coined by Jessica Weiner. Now I have to admit I always thought it was total BS. I constantly utter the phrase "I feel fat." Always have. I even argued with someone that fat WAS a feeling. Because, well, sometimes I just FEEL fat. Once, I even compared myself to this hysterical sad picture.

However, I’m starting to change my tune. I really think "fat" is a word I use to describe my unhappiness. Of course when I’m unhappy I want to eat. I like to comfort myself with food, always have. And when I do, I feel guilty, sadder and then, guess what? Even "Fatter".

That is the cycle I started as a preteen. I’m stressed, unhappy, worried, sad, whatever. I eat for the comfort of it. Then I feel bad about eating because I feel fat. If I feel fat, I eat bad things. Make unhealthy choices. Stay in and watch TV instead of going for a walk. Order pizza instead of cooking dinner. I withdraw. I feel hopeless. Why try? I’m fat anyway.

Messed up right? And to think I was starting to go down the path again. Do you believe it!?!?

But I’m older now, more experienced. Wiser even. :)

Now I know why I "feel fat"…

  • There’s a very cyclic hormonal cycle us women just need to deal with. Let’s get that right out there first thing. It is UNBELIEVABLE how I’m shocked every month about my negative feelings towards my body at that time of the month. When will I learn?
  • I just made a MAJOR life decision and accepted a new job. This is stressful. Will I like it? Can I do the work? Did I make the right decision? How will this affect the toddler? My world is about to change and it’s scary. Exciting! but scary. Chocolate at midnight, albeit tasty, isn’t taking those worried feelings away.
  • I’m trying to sell a house in the middle of a recession. WTF was I thinking? LOL sorry, didn’t mean to curse I’m just trying to be light hearted about it but can you say S T R E S S. Again, the chocolate isn’t helping. Either are the Dorritos.

Yesterday I went to the gym in the evening for a yoga class to help clear my head. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and I saw a "fat" Roni. It was the accumulation of all the feelings I’ve been having over the last few weeks. I looked again and she was STILL there. I battled with my brain during the tree pose and took a long hard look at myself . I decided right then and there my brain was interpreting my reflection all wrong and anyway…. it just doesn’t matter.

Instead I focused on the fact that I was enjoying my healthy body in a yoga class. That every person is that room was a different size, a different shape and how awesome it was that we were honoring ourselves by taking a moment and doing something healthy. We could of all been home watching TV or picking up fast food or (and this is what I used to do) just feeling sorry for ourselves. Right? because let’s be honest we all have something that bothers us. Maybe we’re too tall or too short. Curly hair when we want straight. Freckles? A birthmark? The color of our skin? Nose too big? Funky little toe? (ok, so I have funky little toes why else would I say that lol)

That’s when I came home and posted my (first) Wordless Wednesday, an old photo. That picture shows a women who didn’t figure it out yet. She was still trying so hard to just be thin and in the process gaining more and more weight. She was searching for a quick fix and stuck in the cycle….

Little did she know that happiness was already hers. All she needed to do was make some hard choices. But those choices weren’t about thin vs fat they were about living consciously and being healthy. The choices that could really empower her.

I get asked a lot about motivation and I answered it a few times but I think I finally nailed it. I find motivation from living the best life I can live, irregardless of my size. I want to feel good about the choices I make. I want the toddler to be proud of his Mom. I want to show people it is possible! I only have one life to live and I spent too many years feeling sorry for myself. I’m not about to do it again just because I’m a little stressed. Life is stressful. It always has been and it always will be. Finding comfort in food has NEVER helped. If anything it just makes me feel worse.

*phew* boy do I feel SO much better. Since I missed this weeks question I’d like to bring your attention to this older one. It’s pretty relevant to my thoughts today.

Have a good one! :)




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Discussion

There are 37 comments so far.

    Shannon (FabFatties)

    May 7, 2009

    Ronnie,
    This post really hit home with me. Fat is not a feeling! If I think about the times I consider myself fat they are the times that I am unhappy as well. I can’t believe I have never figured this out on my own. Thank you so much for this post today!

    Lori

    May 7, 2009

    Wow! Your on a roll this week! Great post!!!!
    I can honestly say I feel the exact same way.
    Amazing how the mind can make a thinner person “feel” fat.
    The cycle we can get ourselves nto with the self loathing….
    Thanks for the post.
    Luv,Luv, Luv, your site.
    Thanks for all you do.
    Lori

    Susan

    May 7, 2009

    That was a post I needed to read (perfect timing, as always). Thank you!

    S

    Tricia

    May 7, 2009

    Oh Roni!! I so needed to read this post today. These thoughts have been going through my head a lot lately too…as I also have had some major life changes and stress going on (not to mention being 31 weeks pregnant and about 15 lbs ABOVE where I expected my weight to be at this point). I have been stuck in a funk lately too, and I think this is just what I needed to hear to snap me back to reality.

    Elaine

    May 7, 2009

    Because I know your voice through the podcasts, I could almost hear you reading this to me. I NEEDED this….I’ve put back on 20 of the 35 lbs I’d lost. The gross part is I gained those 20 lbs back in only a month….ick! But, I recently re-found my motivation and eventually the yo-yo diet cycle of hell will be over….every day is a new day.

    Michelle

    May 7, 2009

    I think that the ‘time of the month’ has become an increasing problem for me since I have lost the extra 35 lbs I was carrying around. Also, and don’t get scared, but the older I get the worse it seems to be.

    I have been decreased in motivation lately and I think it is stress related also. When you see the ‘fat roni’ again don’t just post the ‘old roni’ make sure you take a long hard look at your own before and after photos. They are all proof you need. Thanks for this great post looking into the mind of a great friend.

    Juniper

    May 7, 2009

    Wow Roni, lately I’ve been working on maintaining for a bit before going back to work on losing but now I am at the point where I should be getting back to making more healthy choices instead of being fine with unhealthy ones that I can “get away with” because I’m just maintaining. It’s been hard to find the motivation to get back to healthier living (we just ordered pizza last night in fact and I ate waaaaay too much) so I have been grasping at straws trying to find something that would help kick me into gear. Something seemed to have happened between last night’s pizza and today’s motivation and reading this post has really helped boost me to realize that those negative feelings are only going to go away once I put forth a lot of effort to make them go away. I’m determined to break the yo yo cycle! Thanks for the inspiration to keep going!

    KCLAnderson (Karen)

    May 7, 2009

    Great blog post! And yes, there may be days when I “feel fat” but that doesn’t mean I can’t be okay with myself, that I can’t be happy right now anyway! And when I realize that, I don’t want to eat :-)

    Shannan

    May 7, 2009

    Roni,

    Great post. I can really relate to the chart above. I go through that cycle several times a week! lol I’ve been more active, signed up for a 20-mile walk, running again, etc, but I can’t get a handle on the food (and just because it’s a healthy food, doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat too much of it!).

    I’m a master at maintaining my weight when it should be going down, with all the exercise I get in. (WW points target plus about 10 per day – because I feel like I fail when I near the target and there’s still dinner to go, so why not have a dandy time at dinner? Bad thought process.) Eeesh! Anyway, thanks for saying what so many of us needed to hear.

    Anne Marie

    May 7, 2009

    Awesome post, Roni! I wish I could stand up and clap for you right now! I happen to be in a position where I have decided to start counting my points again because I was going too overboard with my portions. Coming to the realization that counting points is what worked for me in the beginning and that it will work for me now is very hard. Sometimes I feel like I’m restricting myself by counting points, but you know what? With each meal, each point that I track, I know that I am on my way to a happier, in control, me.

    Jamie

    May 7, 2009

    Thanks for that post…I feel like I’m struggling with the same things. Some different situations, but still much stress, being hormonal, which always causes me to go in a pit for awhile as far as my body is concerned. Sometimes it feels good to not be alone..btw…I have the worse feet in the world…I’ve been called monkey toes, or finger toes my whole life, and after 28 years, I’ve finally decided to try and get over it so I can wear some darn flip flops.

    Heather

    May 7, 2009

    Your post brought me to tears because that is how I am feeling this week. I am at 160 for the past 2 weeks but working out harder than ever. My pants are baggy but I still feel huge. I have had some eating mishaps this week for sure but as I was looking in the mirror this morning I just hated my reflection. I have accomplished so much from an exercising stand point over the years but it is never enough…Why because I am not the right size? One time when I was running I passed a sign that said, “You are a good person.” Sometimes I think when we are so consumed with losing weight we forget that we are indeed a good person.

    Kerry

    May 7, 2009

    Thank you for being so honest. For me, ‘fat’ is feeling worthless and unloved, and makes me think “why bother treating my body well?” I’ve been struggling with a lot of things lately, including my weight, and this post really spoke to me. It’s so NOT about what the scale says, it’s all about what my brain says. I am going to focus on setting my brain straight.

    lunzy

    May 7, 2009

    Great post. I’m so with you. I’ve been having bad yucky days. Feeling fat, feeling out of sync, and becoming the yelling mom. I hate it. We’ve been eating crappy and I haven’t felt right. Like Anne Marie, I’ve been thinking about going back to point counting just to get back on track with portions.

    I popped in a yoga DVD today that I hadn’t tried yet. I locked the door (dad was on duty) and really got into the breathing, letting my body go, etc.

    Btw- we sold our house right at the start of this recession housing mess. It CAN be done. Not fun, but totally do-able. We also didn’t get what we wanted, but decided to just be done.

    ~Lisa

    Michelle

    May 7, 2009

    Roni,

    I have to admit that I love reading your blog because you’re honest. I read some blogs, which I love, and they apologise for having a bad day. COME ON..we all have bad days/fat days/I want to shove ice cream in my face days. I still struggle with being ‘fat’ every single day and it’s something that challenges me and haunts me at the same time. I have lost over 100lbs and every single day I look at my naked body and think…don’t you wish that you were at least 15lbs thinner..like you were six months ago. But I think that I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am happy where I am at. I’ve learned to control my binges and have learned where they are steming from. For me it’s all emotional. I usually don’t bake because I love to do it for other people..lets be honest it’s a stress relief whereby I get to ‘taste’ throughout. My hardest part of the day is right after work. Not coming home and shoving my face full of food. That is where I struggle. I made it through last night..the first night in a long time. I was proud of myself. It’s ok to have those days, it’s not ok to let them consume you.

    You’re beautiful and deserve to be respectful of the wonders your body has given you. Give yourself a big hug.

    Michelle

    s

    May 7, 2009

    thanks for the post. i’m a semi-lurker and i enjoy reading the posts; the website is very inspiring.

    i find that i am happier than i was before i lost weight, in some regards, but i am anxious more often because food was also something i would self-medicate with a lot more. i guess it’s probably just about replacing old habits with new ones that are less food-reliant. this seems to be something you have already done to a large extent and i sorta look up to you for it. :)

    Mel

    May 7, 2009

    Like many of your other readers said, my favorite thing about your blog is your honesty. You are always real rather than just having us believe that it’s now so easy for you. I truly don’t mean this is a mean way, but I like knowing that you are feeling the same things as I do. It’s just because I see how far you have come and knowing that you still struggle makes me seem like I’m normal and okay.

    I love how your motivation is life. You are right that no matter what size we are we need to live the best life you can. What a great attitude! I’m like you and often turn to comfort food during the stressful times. Once again you nail it though when you said that Life is stressful, it always has been and it always will be. We just have to decide to make good choices through the stress. We will feel that much better if we do rather than feeling even worse by turning to the chocolate, pizza, and ice cream.

    Hang in there, I know that you will overcome this funk. Thank you again for staying real!!

    Sally

    May 7, 2009

    I always feel fat! And at the weight i am right now im considered obese. Sometimes i feel skinny also but mainly just fat. I weigh myself everyday and if im at my comfortable weight i feel good about myself but 2-3 pounds more and i feel like a cow. It unbelievable how feeling ‘fat’ can change my whole mood and make me feel crappy about the day. Food choices also give me the same feeling.. When im eating right and being active i feel great about myself! Its amazing how certain things can change peoples moods!

    Valerie

    May 7, 2009

    I feel like an absolute fraud. I read the posts every day and I talk a good game but I’m not really doing anything to help myself lose this weight. I ate donuts this week. I haven’t exercised regulary in EVER! I’m a fraud. I feel fat. But all I really do is whine about it. I lost 20 odd pounds on WW before. Gained all but 2 back. I signed up for a triathlon on Sunday. Am I ready for it? Not even. I managed to gain weight while I was supposed to be training for it. I’m a stress case…. I work full time, I have a part time job too, I am a full time student working on my masters degree, I am a mom and a wife. I need to find some balance in my life right now! I’m going to get through the race on Sunday. The school year ends in a few weeks. I need to find some time to focus on making me a healthier, thinner me.

    Christine

    May 7, 2009

    Wow, I never thought about that!! But I do only FEEL fat when I’m actually upset about something else. I never “feel fat” when I’m not depressed out of my mind. No wonder my poor boyfriend always looks at me like I’m a crazy person when I ask him if I’m fat.

    Lara (Thinspired)

    May 8, 2009

    Hi Roni,
    Thank you for stopping by my blog last week! I got excited to see your comment ;)
    This is a wonderful post that really speaks to me right now. I’m in a funk lately, too, and I don’t really know why. The hardest thing to do is break the cycle. Thank you for your honesty.

    Janice

    May 8, 2009

    Roni, You so hit the nail on the head for me. I weigh myself and am up 2 or 3 pounds and I start with all the “I am fat, I can’t do this talk.” I have been in a real funk the last 6 weeks but I continue everyday to fight. Whether its getting to the gym after not going for 3 weeks or making a conscious choice not to eat the chips, I just keep going. Thanks for sharing.

    Andrea@WellnessNotes

    May 8, 2009

    In the podcast this week and in this post you write about things I can very much relate to! It’s soooo easy to go back to the unhealthy ways when things are stressful. I used to use food to deal with stress all the time. Fortunately, this has changed most of the time now. However, I still use food to deal with stress at times. You are so right, it’s so important to be conscious of why we make the poor choices and then to focus on getting back on track and living a healthy life. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. I think it’s really helpful to know that not being “perfect” is normal but that you can turn things around. Have a great, healthy weekend! :)

    Alison

    May 8, 2009

    I can relate as well :) It’s funny because I lost 30+ pounds last year but I’ve spent over a year still trying to “figure it out”. We all know that more than anything else, dealing with your weight and eating choices is all about the mind. It’s my goal to figure this out sooner or later (and before I gain the weight back!). I am looking for balance and I am going to find it.

    Mid-cycle I’m starting to notice a trend. I get bloated and cravey – I think it’s ovulation time. I gain a few pounds in water even when following the program to a “T”. Then I get discourage and have a “food-for-all”. Then I hate myself and continue it for a few days.

    Right now I’m working through Beck’s Diet Solution – cognitive therapy to train your brain to do what you want to do with your diet – instead of the yo yo.

    Melissa

    May 8, 2009

    Great post, Roni. Your last paragraph in particular hit home. Great post!

    Justine

    May 8, 2009

    I’m going to copy/paste this post and keep it as a reminder for when I let life get me down. Going through scary financial times with my husband – and I know we have it better than so many others. We’re young, nearly 30, and this post made me want to call and remind him to have fun and it’s only life after all…. worse case scenario we leave/lose our jobs we don’t love and we can pitch a tent on a beach and live there :)

    pam

    May 8, 2009

    I hope that you had the opportunity to watch the Michael J Fox….optimist show last night….. his main message is that we have to make the decision to make our life happy. We ALL face trials in our lives, but that means that we are ALIVE! and living life. It was a really good program. Highlighting the fact that life is happy because of the relationships we have not because of how much money we have, where we live, how skinny we are, how good we look in a pair of jeans, but because of our friends, family and loved ones.

    Alisha

    May 8, 2009

    That was great….and E X A C T L Y what I have been thinking lately! Getting my head back on straight will take time.

    SO I have a post idea for you. Have everyone give links or somehow share their before and afters! Would be a fun and positive thing! After looking at your pic yesterday I thought of it. Anywho, thanks again for sharing!

    Tyra

    May 8, 2009

    {{{ HUGS }}}

    Priyanka

    May 8, 2009

    This post is great! It couldn’t come at a better time, when I am wallowing in self pity, comforting myself ( of course in the form of food) and neglect. There are so many things you have handled in this post.

    I hope you feel much better after writing this too, cuz I feel so much better after reading it!

    Kim

    May 8, 2009

    It has been very interesting reading this posting. All of the thoughts you have expressed just gave words to what I have been feeling this past month (basically since Easter). The “Yikes” picture makes me want to go and look at all the photos that I have before I started my own weight loss journey and really try to remember what had made me so unhappy (was it just the weight or was it other stuff). I still have loads of work to do both in the weight loss journey, but more importantly in how I view my self.

    So bacially I would like to say “Thanks” for sharing you feelings and helping me out.

    Tina

    May 8, 2009

    Hi Roni,

    I know everyone says this, but I don’t think it hurts to say it again and it happens to be true. I absolutely love your sight and thank you for sharing yourself with us. I’m also soo terribly excited about the zuchinni pizza bites. I am allergic to bread and I miss pizza unbelievably so hopefully those will help me fill my pizza void.

    In your post of “can you let it go” you mention that maybe it is just part of your genetic makeup to be insecure about your body. That made me think of one of the other blogs I read daily www.ordinarycourage.com and some of her books she uses in her classroom (she is a graduate professor). One of the books is The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women by Naomi Wolf and one of the other books is Eve Ensler’s The Good Body.

    I bring up these books because I think it is part of our society and culture that all women end up feeling insecure about their bodies. We are shown daily all over the place what we “should” look like. We are told how to take care of ourselves but with the underlying implication that if we take care of ourselves we will look like we “should.”

    We are not told daily how to love ourselves for who we are and yes we should definitley take care of ourselves but because like you said it will help handle stress better when we take care of ourselves. Taking care of ourselves will help us feel stronger and to know that we can overcome our challenges and help us to meet our goals.

    I don’t know if this is exactly the right response to this particular post (it seems to fit better with the can you let it go question), but I thought I would share those two books with you. I know you have moved beyond constricting yourself to what the media defines as “thin” for the sake of being thin and have become healthy, but I think when those feeling “less than” thoughts come in our heads it helps to be able to fight them back with love and appreciation for ourselves and our bodies.

    Farah

    May 8, 2009

    wow. its like im the fat girl stuck in the cycle you were talking about!

    Great post Roni! Your post made me really stop and think about my current struggles and how I have been so hard on myself this past week. And it is just because my brain isn’t seeing the new me when I look in the mirror. I must stop letting it see the old larger me. Thanks again!

    lucille

    May 9, 2009

    I love your post, thank you so much for the inspiration.

    Just a friendly reminder that the word “irregardless” is actually a double negative. I believe you really meant to say “regardless”

    http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/irregardless.aspx

    rollercoaster

    May 10, 2009

    Yes! I think we wrap all our bad feelings up in a ball and call it “fat” because we think that’s the problem. It’s easier to call ourselves fat than to feel other uncomfortable feelings. It’s more familiar.

    To take it a step further, I also think we have uncomfortable feelings about our feelings. For example, if you are excited to go back to work, you might also feel guilty for being excited. Or maybe mixed feelings (which is a big problem for me) like wanting to go back to work because it sounds exciting but also not wanting to go back because you really love the time with the toddler. So all those feelings are mixed up and it’s hard to tolerate the confusion. Plus it stops us from full excitement or from being able to mourn the upcoming change.

    Sometimes I think it’s easier to overeat than to sift through and feel all those feelings but then that just leads to the guilt and sadness and fat feelings you mentioned above. So it’s a catch-22.

    When I feel like this I try to think about what I am feeling, the whole spectrum. Somehow that makes me feel better, then at least I know what I am dealing with and not confusing it with my weight or body image.

    I hope you are feeling better after this weekend! Once again, thank you for being so willing to share your thoughts and feelings. I know it helps me to identify and think about similar feelings for myself.

    rollercoaster

    May 10, 2009

    Okay, totally screwed up the HTML in my post! LOL Sorry!